Friday, July 24, 2009

My First Appointment from the President

A few weeks back the Village President reassigned all the Lake in the Hills Board member liaison appointments and I landed as the alternate to him for the McHenry County Council of Governments.

I was excited as this was my second choice of appointments.

In case you didn't know - the McHenry County Council of Government (MCCOG) is a non-profit network of municipal governmental bodies who seek to provide cooperation on all levels of government. It is a great opportunity for me to get to know other local government officials as well as quickly gain an understanding on the legislative priorities we have in McHenry County.

This past week, at our monthly meeting we had participation from our state representatives and it was enlightening to see the dynamic of their interactions and hear about their work on behalf of our county.

I also learned about an event in September where I hope be reunited with someone who inspired me to write my first political donation check, John Norquist.  John is the former 4 term Mayor of Milwaukee and current President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism and will be speaking in Lake in the Hills in September. CNU is a dynamic organization that spreads the word on the message of New Urbanism versus suburban sprawl. Click here to learn more.

It is not ironic to me that now would be the time we would reunite. You see, John's was the second political campaign I ever worked on and as I mentioned early on in my blogs, one of the many influencers of my long time interest in local government.  I was a "Friend of John Norquist" in 1995 and volunteered my time on reaching young single folks for his campaign in Milwaukee.

Some of the tactics used then to reach people, I used in my recent successful campaign. 

Good old fashioned, skin-to-skin contact with as many people as possible. I canvassed all across my downtown Milwaukee neighborhood on his behalf. I talked about him every Thursday night over beers at Soccer City or the Landmark on the east side.

I built relationships with young people from all walks of life for John Norquist in his 1996 re-election campaign.  He won and that was so cool for me the twenty something who helped with little money and lots of sweat equity!

How rewarding to think that I did that this past winter for myself and got the same result!

Glad to have such wonderful reminder of why I did this in the first place on my very first night fulfilling my new assignment.

Not a coincidence, but yet another reinforcing sign that I am right where I need to be. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

1st Press on the New Trustee

No sooner had I posted last week's blog did I get a call from the Daily Herald the next morning.

This article is the result of that call. Please read it.

Overall - very accurate accounting of the conversation.

The omission that I would have liked reported was this:

My reference to the commision to study exotic animals was not a "typical political response" to throw a committee at something. I said that we are not going to spend money on a study which is what it would take for me personally to feel comfortable allowing exceptions to our municipal code. In our current economy - we cannot afford to do more than we have done in research and what we found leads me to believe that our municpal code is well written for this specific case.

Does it cover all potential exotic animal species? That could be debated.

I do not have the expertise to decide if this animal or any naturally wild animal (this one happens to hail from Madagascar where they are naturally wild) is a safe pet or better stated, not a threat to our community.

Without further study - I stand by my decision.

Funny, to those watching and commenting all over the articles (the aforementioned and this one from the Northwest Herald), this is a very unpopular decision out the gate for this new trustee.

I am ok with that. I wasn't sure how I'd react the first time I was accused of meddling or called an idiot.

I am happy to report that I am fine.

Yeah - it stings to read how "stupid" I am but I have a clear conscience and know I made the right decision for the community.

That soothes the sting.